Jace Lankow, the referee-turned-stripper who streaked across the field at Arizona Stadium on Thursday night, has been charged with criminal impersonation, a class 6 felony, according to The Arizona Republic.
The maximum punishment that Lankow faces is a year and a half in prison. The real question has to be this: what the hell are police in Tucson thinking?
It's one thing to charge someone with criminal trespassing. That is acceptable considering the situation. But criminal impersonation? That is a charge generally reserved for scam artists who dress up as police officers or illegal immigrants who falsify documents -- not for some foolish college student who runs onto a field dressed as a referee.
It's an unprecedented, overbearing charge that will burden this young man with legal issues for months to come. Lankow will have a difficult time getting this monkey off his back.
Many will argue that he deserves to be punished for what he has done. That much I can agree with, but why does Pima County insist on bringing forward the most ludicrous charge possible?
The liberal application of laws in this country has been a problem for a long time, but we could always take solace in the knowledge that it was always in the best interests of security, safety, and Amurrica. In this scenario, the police should have stuck to a standard charge that correctly depicts the nature of the crime rather than attempting to capitalize on the high level of attention such a case would provide.
Lankow was wrong, no doubt about it. But two wrongs don't make a right and the police should be ashamed of themselves for trying to make an example out of this kid.